With so much uncertainty on the horizon, what’s your business strategy for 2022? Do you have a firm grasp on how the latest forecasts and industry trends could impact your bottom line? 

Take your planning to the next level by joining us for Visit Orlando’s annual Business Insights Luncheon & Economic Forum, Aug. 27 at Hilton Orlando. This highly valuable event — a key member benefit that’s also open to the public — is always a can’t miss.

The morning session will feature Visit Orlando economist Daryl Cronk on the road ahead for our local industry, followed by national economist Anirban Basu on larger trends shaping the overall recovery. Our luncheon speaker, Paul Ouimet of MMGY NextFactor, will unveil the results of a groundbreaking global destination survey and Visit Orlando’s new three-year strategic plan. 

Of course, all of us are very proud of Orlando’s well-earned reputation as a leader in safe meetings, and this event will reflect those high standards.

  • We will adhere to CDC guidelines.

  • Face masks must be worn while not actively eating or drinking.

  • Social distancing of six feet will be marked at registration counters.

  • One guest per six-foot classroom table at the economic forum.

  • Four guests per six-foot roundtable at the signature luncheon.

It is important to show that we can safely meet in person, and we hope to have your support. Please reserve your spot today and be ready for a fun, informative event. We’ll see you Aug. 27! 

June TDT Breaks Pandemic-Era Records

In case you missed the good news, Orange County’s Tourist Development Tax collections for June rose to $21.7 million — a pandemic-era high and 89% of where we were in June 2019. Hotel occupancy, demand and average daily rate also set post-COVID records, and indicators suggest even higher levels for July.  

And while our recovery pace through the summer is worth celebrating, we must remain cautious looking forward. Traditionally, we see a seasonal slowdown beginning in early to mid-August when children return to school (reflected in the weekly hotel stats below). But of much greater concern is our battle against the delta variant, which has caused national travel sentiment to decline while posing new challenges on the health and safety front.
In response, Visit Orlando continues to work closely with Orange County government and our industry and community partners to stress the importance of vaccinations and individual responsibility. With heightened vigilance and common-sense precautions, it is our hope we can stem this surge and maintain our steady path back to pre-pandemic norms.

Hotel Occupancy Dips Below 70%

For the first time in six weeks, Metro Orlando hotel occupancy fell below 70%, coming in at 67.7% for the week ending Aug. 7. Average daily rate fell $2.08 to $125.67. Occupancy for Florida (68.8%) and the U.S. (68.0%) were slightly ahead of Orlando levels.

A Day with Feed the Need Florida

Last Friday, I was honored to volunteer at Feed the Need Florida alongside members of our staff and board of directors. It was a fantastic day of giving back, as we hustled to package fruits and vegetables for distribution — 410 bags in less than three hours! Feed the Need was last year’s charity recipient for Visit Orlando’s Magical Dining program, receiving a record $345,378 donation. They’re doing great work in our community, and we’re proud to call them friends

Community Connections 

This was a week of meaningful opportunities for me to connect with members of the Orlando community, as I was invited to speak to the Women’s Executive Council of Orlando and Rotary Club of Orlando. Thank you to these amazing organizations for having me! I appreciated your thoughtful questions and the chance to share travel and tourism industry updates with you.

Another Win for Orlando’s Safer, Stronger, Together Campaign

I’m pleased to share that our region’s Safer, Stronger, Together campaign — a joint effort between Visit Orlando, Orange County government and the Orlando Economic Partnership — has been honored with a Golden Image Award from the Florida Public Relations Association. This follows a Silver Anvil Award last month from the Public Relations Society of America. Congratulations again, everyone!

Across the Industry

MSN: Orlando among the 15 most wallet-friendly places to visit in October

TravelAge West: Need-to-know research: how the delta variant is affecting travelers

TravelPulse: EU reportedly considers restoring travel restrictions on US

WESH: Tourism to Florida on the rebound, vacation market leading comeback

Northstar: How 10 organizations are serving the greater good during Covid-19

TravelPulse: US travel industry cheers Senate passage of historic infrastructure bill

Travel Weekly: Florida hoteliers say labor shortage may be easing

Tampa Bay Times: MegaCon Orlando to draw celebrities, 100,000 fans and face mask rules

Prevue Meetings: Prevue survey finds meeting plans in flux due to delta variant

Casandra Matej 

In your service,
Casandra Matej
Casandra Matej | President & CEO
Visit Orlando